In For A Penny, In For A Pound, By Tim Waterstone

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The Independent Culture

This fourth novel from the founder of the eponymous chain of bookstores draws on subject matter close to home, not least in his fictional chain of stores named "Waterwells".

The books comes hot with speculation that some of the most parodied characters bear more than a passing resemblance to the Barclay Brothers and the Murdoch family.

Set in 1990s London, it pivots around two best friends - Hugh Emerson, who runs a family publishing firm that is close to collapse, and Ned Macaulay, who is close to inheriting a vast news empire.

The fast-paced saga is a departure for Waterstone, whose previous novels have tended towards milder family dramas, and may mark a bid for a wider readership.